A woman took to Reddit to get people’s opinions on her family’s strange custom of keeping teeth in their pockets
When someone in your family dies, it’s natural for everybody to mourn in their own way. That might mean crying, having a few drinks, or – it seems – even keeping the dead person’s tooth in a pocket.
That’s right, a woman with the username DeathTeethStory took to Reddit’s popular ‘AITA’ thread (which stands for am I the a** hole) to get some opinions on her partner’s bizarre family ritual.
The thread allows the people of the internet to reply with their opinions on a situation, and whether in this case, they think that individual is in the wrong.
The woman said: “My husband’s family has an extremely bizarre set of rituals surrounding death and funerals.
“They’re from Wales, but I don’t think this is a cultural thing and I haven’t been able to find a basis for it or even anything remotely similar from a cultural/religious background.”
Basically, in her husband’s family, before a corpse of someone recently deceased is buried, they will have all of the teeth of the deceased knocked out.
“They will give one tooth to each of their living relatives to keep with them in a fabric pouch which they’re meant to keep with them.
“They even have a system for how they decide which family member gets which tooth based on their proximity to the deceased.”
The woman found out about the tradition after attending her partner’s grandmother’s funeral where her mother in law gave her a pouch with one of her molars.
She said: “My husband got very upset when I told him I didn’t want to participate in this ritual.
“At the time I was only talking about not wanting to carry around his family member’s teeth, but evidently it’s expected that after I die they’ll knock out my teeth to be distributed to the family members.
“He asked me whether I would really deny my children the ability to have something to remind them of me after I pass away or to feel left out from their cousins.”
The woman insists that the family is lovely, but to her, the whole ritual is “insane.”
She concluded: “I don’t want my teeth knocked out and distributed to a bunch of random relatives, and there’s no way in hell that my side of the family will understand or accept this.
“AITA for not accepting this, based on how our last conversation went I think he’s considering divorce.”
Here is an AITA key for all the Reddit terminology.
You’re the a** hole (& the other party is not) = YTA
You’re Not the a** hole (& the other party is) = NTA
Everyone sucks here = ESH
No a** holes here = NAH
Not enough info = INFO
It would seem that the internet are quite mixed in their opinions, although most think that in this case, the woman is not the a** hole.
One user commented: “For me the weirdest thing is that he feels so strongly about it that he’s considering divorce because she won’t consent to having her future corpse’s teeth knocked out.”
Another said: “NTA and this is a whole other level of weirdness to me. They have a chest… filled with thousands of teeth of their deceased. This is deal breaker level bizarre, at least for me.
“You need to think about the bigger picture too. He brings up kids, so you guys clearly want them. What if, God forbid, something happens and your child dies?
“He’s going to knock out their teeth. Are you okay with that? Because I sure as hell wouldn’t be as a mother.”
Others are quick to jump to her partner’s defence, one user said: “I agree. It’s weird, but it isn’t unsanitary. It isn’t harming anyone. Maybe trying to understand the legend behind it might shed some light.”
It would seem that the internet is divided. But the real question is, would you mind carrying dead family members’ teeth in your pocket?